CRISP Visits Océ on 18 March 2014

The fourth CRISP Visit was held at Océ, where design research for PSS development has been going on for years, with all its ups and downs. Guido Stompff (senior designer at Océ, member of CASD) kicks off the visit by introducing the company. Océ is a business-to-business company and works for all kinds of customers: “We are good at making products, but I believe we may even be better at developing systems. We try to think in a system of user-and-product kind of way.”

Sanna Langeveld (interaction designer, member of CASD) takes us through the development process of Océ: firstly establishing who the users are, then generating ideas, making a prototype and finally validating its working. In the design team of Océ (more than 20 people) are product designers, interaction designers, visual designers, usability researchers and model makers. Making models, both digital and in hardware, is considered a core activity for the design process of the Océ systems. We are taken on a tour through the vast premises of Océ, to see the model shop and one of the Experience rooms.
On the walls of this space are the insights of various customer visits and analysis sessions. Klaas Jan Wierda (system developer, partner in PSS101) explains this is done to show and analyse the results of intensive field sessions in order to identify opportunities for new product and service releases. These insights sometimes lead to drastic changes in the focus of project developments.

Lastly Guido showed the Océ Arizona flatbed printer and the Tomorrow Project where he experimented with a new market approach for printing applications on special materials. This project was part of the CRISP project CASD.

Getting back to the conference room, we discuss opportunities of the flatbed printer. The main problem is that consumers hardly know what printers can do for them nowadays, like printing on special materials such as glass or ceramics, or on sizes that are beyond their imagination. How can customers know what they want, if they don’t know what’s possible? Guido: “Maybe Océ needs to develop new applications for consumers instead of products or software? We prototyped this service for a week in a shopping mall, and let people ‘vote with their wallet’, in order to test the ideas and truly get to know the product. Sales were great, but how can we roll this out further?”

During drinks we also discuss the role of designers and design skills in innovation processes. Design skills are applied at Océ to improve the innovation process, but the designers at Océ think: maybe this can be extended to strategic realms.

Reaction by Linda de Valk, participant of the CRISP Visits to Océ
I've now been to a couple of CRISP Visits and I enjoy learning more about the companies involved in the CRISP program. Although some of the companies are quite familiar by name (e.g. Philips, Océ), actually visiting the workplace and talking with people there about their work experience helps a lot in getting to know the company better. I especially appreciate it if these companies do not only share their success stories, but also their insecurities and struggles.
Sometimes, the visits are a bit too short and we do not have the time to get to a more detailed level of discussion. It could be nice to extend some of the visits, or to organize a follow-up visit at the same company, with a more in-depth discussion and/or workshop.

Also, it is a nice, informal opportunity to talk with people from other CRISP projects.

Linda de Valk, PhD candidate TU/e

latest comments (0)

Add comment

Login to post comments


Frank Stemerding